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Sep 24, 2019

Sri Lanka: Lawyers in Tamil-majority northern province on strike

In Sri Lanka, lawyers in the Tamil-majority northern province are on a strike today, demanding the arrest of a Buddhist clergy and other persons who had gone against a court order and cremated the remains of a Buddhist priest within temple premises.

The lawyers' absence affected the normal functioning of courts in Mullaitivu district while there were public protests reported near the temple premises.

A representative of the Northern Province Lawyers’ Association, Anton Pulidanayagam, said they launched the protest against disregarding a court order and attempting to influence a lawyer of the Mullaitivu Magistrate’s Court.

Mullaitivu Chief Magistrate had ordered the final rites of the Chief Prelate a Buddhist temple on the Nayaru beach near an old Army camp.

This was considering a complaint filed by the Tamil residents in the area objecting to the cremation of the Chief Prelate within the temple where a Hindu Kovil was also situated. However, the body of the Chief Prelate was cremated within the temple premises last evening, despite the court order.

Chief of a Buddhist organization, Gnanasara Thero, stated that they did not agree to the court order and the final rites of the Chief prelate were done according to the decision of the Sangha Council representing the deceased prelate.

There was in prison for contempt of court but was released early this year on a Presidential pardon.

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